A Hawke's Bay Magpies team, parading as the Hawke's Bay Saracens, has beaten Heartland union Wairarapa Bush 62-19 in the union's historic annual rugby match in Masterton.
The Hawke's Bay side led the Queen's Birthday match 24-19 at halftime, but took control in the second half in which it scored all 38 points.
In all, and with more than 30 players getting time on the field as a strong collection of players from the Hawke's Bay club competition got the chance to lay claim to places in the Magpies' Ranfurly Shield and NPC team, seven players got onto the Saracens' scoresheet of 10 tries.
Taradale centre Kienan Higgins, a new-season arrival fropm Wellington who is top equal on the Nash Cup and Maddison Trophy club rugby try-scorers' ladder, scored three, and fellow back Mason Emerson scored twice.
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Using three goalkickers, six of the tries were converted, with Clive fullback Tianua Poto kicking three, Magpies halfback front-runner Connor McLeod two, and Central first five-eighth and New Zealand Secondary Schools and Under 20 squads member Harry Godfrey getting one in his first appearance in the black-and-white jersey.
It was the second of what were to have been five pre- NPC warm-up matches, for the Magpies, whose first major assignments are Ranfurly Shield defences at McLean Park, Napier, against North Otago on June 30 and Ngati Porou East Coast on July 24.
Both non-NPC challengers also had wins as their Ranfurly Shield preparations stepped up in other Queen's Birthday weekend matches, both on Saturday.
North Otago Beat King Country 27-19 in Oamaru in their first Maroon and Gold Cup match since 2018, and East Coast marked its centennial with a 28-21 win over neighbour and traditional Queen's Birthday rival Poverty Bay in Ruatoria.